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Avs’ Varlamov signs with KHL Lokomotiv

Sep 27, 2012, 4:49 PM EDT

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varlamovap AP

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has signed another high-profile NHLer, agreeing to terms with Colorado Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov.

The club announced the signing on Thursday, along with confirmation that Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov would also be joining the fold.

The move to Yaroslavl is a homecoming for the 24-year-old ‘tender. RIA Novosti reports Varlamov played with Lokomotiv from age 11 — including two years with the senior team — before jumping to the Washington Capitals organization in 2008.

“I feel like I’ve never left the team,” he said in a video interview to Lokomotiv’s website. “Four years have passed like one day.”

Varlamov is coming off a solid first season in Colorado where he started slowly, but gained confidence down the stretch and carried the Avs through a late season playoff push.

He appeared in a career-high 53 games (winning a career-high 26) and finished with a .913 save percentage and 2.59 GAA.

By signing Varlamov and Kuliov, Lokomotiv filled their final two import spots for the 2012-13 season (Columbus’ Artem Anisimov was the third.)

The trio will join a number of ex-NHLers in Yaroslavl: Viktor Kozlov, Mark Flood, Nicklas Hagman, Staffan Kronwall, Curtis Sanford, Sami Lepisto and Vitaly Vishnevsky.

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